April is the Best Month to See Saturn this Year


Saturn

The Planet Saturn

Saturn will rule the night sky throughout the month of April this year.  The Earth is between the Sun and Saturn and Saturn’s rings are tilted toward the Earth almost nine degrees.  Both of these factors will make for some great viewing.

But – you have to know where to look!  Fortunately, finding Saturn will be easy this month.  It will be in the constellation Virgo, right above the star called Spica.  Just after sunset, look for two bright objects in the eastern sky (opposite the sunset).  Saturn is the brighter, golden colored object higher in the sky.

You won’t be able to see the rings of Saturn with the naked eye.  You’ll need a small telescope to do that.

On the morning of April 17th around 5am, look to the horizon facing west-southwest.  You will see Saturn, Spica and the waxing gibbous Moon form an inverted equilateral triangle.

Saturn is the second biggest planet in our solar system and is known for it’s amazing rings which were first observed by Galileo in 1610.  Saturn is approximately 856 million miles away from the Sun and it takes 29.5 Earth years for the planet to complete an orbit.

Saturn has been visited by several spacecraft including Pioneer 11, Voyager 1, Voyager 2 and Cassini.

If you take any pictures of Saturn this month, send them in and we’ll post them on this page.



2 Responses to “April is the Best Month to See Saturn this Year”

  • Lila says:

    I love the picture of Saturn posted on this article, on April 17th. Too bad I missed it. Do you have any more pictures for the year 2012, of how the rings will look like on that certain day/month?

    [Reply]

    yazmin replied:

    This picture is pretty isn’t it

    [Reply]

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